3, 3), in connexion with the history of Elagabalus, whose elevation to the Roman purple was mainly due to the extraordinary local influence of his sacerdotal place.
Varius, though still only a boy, was appointed high priest of the Syrian sun-god Elagabalus, one of the chief seats of whose worship was Emesa (Horns).
His most important extant works are: in prose, Gratiarum Actio, an address of thanks to Gratian for his elevation to the consulship; Periochae, summaries of the books of the Iliad and Odyssey; and one or two epistolae; in verse, Epigrammata, including several free translations from the Greek Anthology; Ephemeris, the occupations of a day; Parentalia and Commemoratio Professorum Burdigalensium, on deceased relatives and literary friends; Epitaphia, chiefly on the Trojan heroes; Caesares, memorial verses on the Roman emperors from Julius Caesar to Elagabalus; Ordo Nobilium Urbium, short poems on famous cities; Ludus Septem Sapientum, speeches delivered by the Seven Sages of Greece; Idyllia, of which the best-known are the Mosella, a descriptive poem on the Moselle, and the infamous Cento Nuptialis.
The lives, which (with few exceptions) are arranged in chronological order, are distributed as follows: - To Spartianus: the biographies of Hadrian, Aelius Verus, Didius Julianus, Septimius Severus, Pescennius Niger, Caracallus, Geta (?); to Vulcacius Gallicanus: Avidius Cassius; to Capitolinus: Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Verus, Pertinax, Clodius Albinus, the two Maximins, the three Gordians, Maximus and Balbinus, Opilius Macrinus (?); to Lampridius: Commodus, Diadumenus, Elagabalus, Alexander Severus; to Pollio: the two Valerians, the Gallieni, the so-called Thirty Tyrants or Usurpers, Claudius (his lives of Philip, Decius, and Gallus being lost); to Vopiscus: Aurelian, Tacitus, Florian, Probus, the four tyrants (Firmus, Saturninus, Proculus, Bonosus), Carus, Numerian, Carinus.
Marius Maximus, who lived about 165-230, wrote biographies of the emperors, in continuation of those of Suetonius, from Nerva to Elagabalus; Junius Cordus dealt with the less-known emperors, perhaps down to Maximus and Balbinus.